In order to be able to use our grading system, it is good to read this explanation. This way of classifying the condition of an item is common all over the world and serves primarily to ensure that a person who is not able to see a particular item in person and is interested in buying, gets the most accurate possible insight into its condition.
As in the world of collectors, there are various variations in the rating system, so free bird itself has some small specifics, which is why it is good to read this text even if you are one of those who are familiar with systems of evaluating records and other sound carriers, such as goldmine and the like. ..
Sealed / new - the record is brand new and has never been opened
M = mint - cover looks new or is new. The record has never been played or if it has, it cannot be seen or heard on anything.
NM = near the mint - the record may have just a small fingerprint or similar
EX = excellent - on the cover or on the record you can see that they are used, but we really can’t say it’s damaged
EX- = excellent minus - is a rating between vg + and ex, which is usually given when the record has something like a shadow or some other mark for which is hard to say if it is damage caused by a human hand or it’s just some small imperfection from the factory, but we can be pretty sure that it doesn’t affect the sound. The cover may have light signs of age on the edges, but actually, nothing we can call damage, except maybe a very pale "ringwear" on the back.
VG+ = very good + - on the cover there are some traces of time or use that some of you will qualify as damages, while others won’t notice it at all. Ringwear (marks in the shape of the record), light loss of color, etc. As for the record, it may have some hairlines or very light ringwears. While in 95% cases, you won’t hear any noise except the one that existed when it was brand new, we will rather place the record like that in vg+ than in an excellent or excellent minus, because you’ll never be sure if even those light marks could have a very mild affect to the sound on some more sensitive turntable.
VG = very good - the cover may have several damages like lighter torn, strong ringwears. The record is a bit damaged, which is why it probably produces a certain noise which may be occasionally louder, but the record in the vg condition will never skip or jump.
VG- = very good minus - the record is full of scratches, but not one of them is palpable, so it will surely not jump, but the background noise will be pretty significant. The cover is in very bad condition, possibly damaged, torn and generally bad, but it must be complete.
G = good - the record can skip because there are tangible scratches, may have more tangible scratches, but one is enough to come into that category. Very loud background noise (campfire) is sometimes present on the entire record, but sometimes it can exist only in certain places. If you listen on more valuable devices, you should be careful, because frequent reproduction of damaged parts will significantly reduce the life of the needle on your gramophone.
The cover has greater damage as more serious torns, writings, etc., And some smaller pieces may even be missing.
F - fair - such a record will certainly jump, most likely in several places, and significant cracks and noise will be heard throughout it. Listening is not recommended except on very rude cheap gramphones like those which have been sold in the form of suitcase.
The cover is in very bad condition, incomplete and sufficiently destroyed in all possible ways
POOR & BAD - the record and cover in such condition can only be used to fill the place in your collection until you find a better copy. We can say that both cover and record have been totally destroyed, both in acoustic and in the visual sense. We do not recommend listening.
for CDs, the situation is as follows:
SEALED / NEW is brand new, never opened.,
M brand new with no signs of use,
NM and EX- great condition, maybe just a few stains, by the barely visible peelings on the booklet edges, you can tell that maybe once or twice someone took them out of the jewel box,
EX- and VG+ small traces of use,
VG more traces of use, but the cd plays like new,
VG- there is a tiny possibility that the cd "stuck" during playback, but if this happens, you can ask for the replacement,
G and F severely damaged cd and cover. It may pass without skipping and getting stuck, but we can’t guarantee it.